...the Elevated Record

Blog from the Hill

May

We had a very restful day, today. Nothing much happened, other than me getting confused about two words, Tinnitus and Tintinnabulation. It turns out one is a ringing in the ears and the other a ringing or tinny sound. Then, it is correct that I was confused by them both because I have had a tinny ringing in my ears for over 40 years, now. Sometimes I don't notice it, but most of the time it's as maddening as cicadas after a month.

Our church service was not broadcast this morning due to technical difficulties. So instead of Communion Wine, we just had some wine (same wine, same glass, same amount). To make up for it, we're not going to have Bible Study tomorrow, either. However, next Sunday we will attend church in the Nave along with the rest of the congregation! Hurrah! Next Monday we will attend Bible Study at the church also! Again, Hurrah! 

I went grocery shopping today, pain free, and finally spent the remainder of our Covid Relief Stimulus money. From now on we'll have to start spending from our bank account again. (Bummer, am I right?). Also, I might have to cut back on my impulse buys, like large jars of pickles when smaller ones would do.

We were last at Suzanne's house on Saturday, the 22nd of May, I think, so I'm reasonably certain that whatever I had didn't also affect anyone there. I awoke two days later, Monday, with a sore throat. I figured I was snoring, even with the CPAP, which happens infrequently, and didn't pay much attention to it. When the soreness didn't dissipate during the day, I knew it wasn't from snoring, but some mild infection. During the next few days, I was coughing up lots of phlegm, more than usual, pretty much through the days. Thursday morning, after three days of Tylenol and lotsa water, my throat cleared up. The next day, Thursday, I mowed the grass and started feeling my kidneys were swollen and painful. Today, the pain shifted from both kidneys to only the right one, and has now dissipated altogether.

Something Suzanne said during our phone conversation about a strong odor in the in the bathroom has struck a bell [CLANG!!!]. During the three days of sore throat, I had noticed an objectionable odor after my morning voiding. I'm feeling that it is very possible that whatever had caused my sore throat was also affecting my kidneys. Oddly enough, yesterday and today the odor was gone, so I didn't immediately connect the two. As Dr. Clements would say, "BUZZ!", as in "That's the answer!" At least I think that's the answer.

I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep sans Tylenol PM.

Well, I've really done it, today. At 9:30 a.m. I got out the lawn mower and started to cut the grass.  before I was halfway through with the lawn, my kidneys felt swollen and sore. After putting the mower back into the garage, I pulled the Saturn back in, then clipped some of the branches from the shrub beside the driveway before pulling Toyoda back up to his usual position at the top of the driveway. I couldn't get into Yoda, because I had locked the doors - and the key was not in my pocket. Confusion ensued as I started to search for the missing key. I even backed the Saturn out of the garage so Becky could search the floor under it. That was when I remembered hearing something clatter when I had gotten into the Saturn to pull her into the garage. Sure enough, I found the missing key beside the driver's seat. I hadn't yet told Becky about finding it, though I did beep the horn to try to get her attention when I found it. She was concentrating on searching through the pockets of my shorts on the dryer to see if I had just left it there, and returned with my house keys. I finally told her that I had found the key, and when she tried to hand me the house keys, I told her I didn't need them right now, so she put them back in the pocket of my shorts. After stripping in the garage so as not to track clippings and drippings into the house, I walked in and asked her where she had put my house keys. She didn't remember. More confusion ensued as we searched for the keys, during which time I felt a real need for a shower, so said we'd search more afterward. After my shower, I was still overheated and sweaty, but while pulling on some shorts I knocked into my Levi shorts hanging on the hook beside the bed and they gingled. I found my keys. Meanwhile, my kidneys still felt swollen and painful, so as I sat on a towel in my recliner, I called the urologist, explained what was happening, and was told to take tylenol and drink plenty of water, and if the pain persisted past Tuesday, call him again. My kidneys are not painful, now, unless I move or breathe deeply, but now I've noticed that my belly has swollen nearly to where it was before I stopped eating gluten! I will have to use Tylenol PM to be able to sleep tonight, which means I will be wasted until noon tomorrow.

I arose at about 6:30, anxious about possibly getting my car back, wondering how much of a fight I would have to put up to actually get it. The shop opened at 8 a.m., but I received no phone call from them. Twenty minutes after eight, I called the shop, asked the status of my car which was supposed to be ready two days ago, and I was told that it was ready to be picked up. About 15 minutes later, Becky and I pulled into their lot, still ready for a fight. I mentioned the emails that I had received last Tuesday, as well as the phone conversations I had with the project manager wherein he gave me the same information about the progress of the repairs as though those events were taking place in real-time, though they had previously been reported as completed. He explained that the emails had been generated by their automated system as they had been scheduled to occur, but did not reflect the events as they actually happened. In other words, I was lied to by "their automated system." At any rate, when the car was finally presented to me, the damage had totally disappeared, the paint had been matched as nearly exactly as my eyes could detect, and the bumper cover, which needed paint on the end, but had existing damage to the paint elsewhere and was to have been "clear-coated", had in fact been painted. Still upset about the late finish to the repair, I am satisfied with the repair. It was good to be able to drive our Toyoda again.

I was supposed to get my car back yesterday. Just past closing time, the shop sent me three emails to say they were reassembling the car, washing the car, and checking the paperwork. I figured that I would get the car back today, then. I heard nothing before 10:20, so I called the shop. I was told they were reassembling the car. Either the lie was in last night's three emails, or I was being lied to over the phone. Becky and I went to lunch, and my cell phone did not ring while we were gone from the house. Upon our return, I found there were no recorded calls on the house phone either. At 3:30 I called the shop again. This time I was told they were washing the car. Lie #2, or perhaps that was #2 and #3. At 5 pm, I started complaining. The shop was closed and I still didn't have my car. I reread the emails from last night, and they said that they would send out a survey so I could record how pleased I was with their service, the treatment I received, and so forth. They said that if at any time I felt I could not answer that I was 100% pleased, I should write to the email address provided. I wrote to them and expressed my displeasure with their lies and not delivering the car on as promised - or at all the following day. I also posted that same displeasure on facebook so that my friends could see just what that body shop does and how they treat their customers and perhaps would not want to take their cars to that shop. (to be continued)...

The repairs on my Toyoda were due to have been completed by the close of business today. Unfortunately, the shop got a bit behind schedule, so today I was told it would be ready for me in the morning. Of course, they open at 8 AM, and the morning lasts until 11:59, so that is somewhat of a nebulous concept. Becky and I had hoped to visit Cedric's Tavern in Antler Village on the Biltmore Estate tomorrow, at 11:30. We may or may not keep that schedule. I am anxious to see the repaired quarter panel and bumper cover, to see just how accurate their paint matching is. They cautioned me that it might not be an exact match, but they would do their best to make it match the 11-year-old paint on the car. I'm sure they will have matched it closely enough that I will not notice the difference with my lack of precise color acuity.

Becky and I were sitting in TGI Friday's today, having a rather understated celebration of our Multi-Versary (lunaversary, as well as the 18th year, 18th month, 18th week, 18th day -versary), when the subject came up of a waiter asking a customer, "How would you like your steak cooked?" Immediately my mind concocted a little vignette. [Cohen the Barbarian was seated in the Broken Drum hoping for a rather large, juicy steak to sink his new den-chewers into. "Wadda ya want?" the waiter snarled at him. "Steak!" Cohen growled long and slow. The waiter asked, "How you want it cooked?" Cohen thought that was a stupid question and would have just said to throw it on the fire for a few minutes had he not just seen Commander Sam Vimes and his lovely wife, Duchess Sybil, who was leading a baby dragon on a leash. Cohen chuckled, knowing that such a skimpy leash would not stop even a baby dragon intent on escape. "Jest hol' the steak in front of that dragon's mouth for a second. 'S'all it'll take." The waiter then asked His Lordship, Commander Vimes, if he could use his wife for a second or two, explaining that her breath is said to be able to cook a steak, at least according to the "gentleman" at the second table away. "He called her a dragon, you know." Sam was out of his chair immediately and would have laid waste to the two who had dared to insult Her Grace, had he been able to decide which was the worse offender. Lady Sybil laughed and said, "Perhaps he was speaking of Bluster," and pointed to her baby dragon asleep beside her chair. Sam returned to his seat, the waiter held the steak as near to the dragon's head as he dared and even then had to dodge the flames that erupted from the wee beast. He served the steak to Cohen who immediately took a bite, shrieked in pain, and spat the bite into the hearth beside him. "There's enough pepper in that to burn water!", he declared loudly. Lady Sybil chuckled and whispered to her husband, "Bluster enjoys a snack of Scotch Bonnets from time to time."] I apologize for my lack of paragraphy, but the way this blog is mechanized, I can put all the style I want into my writings, but it will still just be one blob of text.

Happy Pentecost! After watching a good service on YouTube, Becky and I drove to the church for a picnic lunch to celebrate Raising the Roof. The building is large, and the roof system quite complex, and it costs a lot of money to fix it right. Two-thirds of the money has already been pledged or paid, so today was as much an attempt to spur the membership to finish the fund drive as to show what has already been done. When I saw the portions of the new roof that have been completed, I was very impressed. Becky and I have, of course, given our share of the project, so all that is needed is for the other 50 or so people to give the same amount, and the bill will be paid.

Becky and I paid a lunch-time visit to Suzanne, bearing most of the makings for some delicious BLAT sandwiches (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato) with cheese. Suzanne provided the bacon and the kitchen skills. We were also bearing our Mah Jongg set, played five games, and Suzanne won the first one, the second "went to the wall" (no hand completed, so no winner), and Becky won the next two. I lost all but the last hand. While we were playing, Melinda called. She wanted to speak with Suzanne to ask after her well-being, wish her a return to health, and tell her she was praying for her. That was nice of her to call.

I awoke at 7:30 this morning, wanting to be up and awake for some reason I don't even remember. In fact, I think it might have been a misconception because the only thing I had to be out of bed for was when the La-Z-Boy Serviceman came at 11:50 AM. In fact, though, that's when the serviceman left the house. He came about 11:25 after calling to make sure it was a good time for him to arrive. Basically, he took photos of the loveseat, then sat in it and affirmed that the chair does, in fact, lean the occupant to the right. He submitted his report to the powers-that-be and told us that they would determine the action to be taken, whether to adjust the padding, replace the springs, or replace the whole chair. He added that if they replace the whole chair, we can, if we choose, keep the failed one for parts, for the fabric, or whatever. Of course, we could also let the serviceman take it away when he leaves. One thing is certain in my mind, though, and that is that I do not wish to sit in the failed chair for any reason if it is replaced. I feel it has done enough damage to my spinal health as it is.

I have been expecting a phone call from La-Z-Boy all day for the repair of my reclining loveseat. First of all, they call it a loveseat, but it has a center console, so if anyone attempted to do any loving on it, it would be very uncomfortable. I'm just saying... - Anyway, we got a call from Melinda this morning, and about an hour later the line was once again clear. Then Suzanne called. Unfortunately, she was battling vertigo and just called to cancel her suggestion that we visit today, so she didn't stay on the phone long. Late this afternoon, Melinda called again, but to my cell phone, this time, because she was unable to get through on the landline - it was "Busy". Between the time of Suzanne's call and Melinda's second call, the landline was OOC. That was about eight hours. After Melinda hung up from her second call, my cell phone immediately rang, and it was La-Z-Boy with the call I was expecting, to set a time for the repairman to arrive tomorrow - between 11:30 AM to 2 PM. (Enjoy your lunch).

I got up this morning at about 8:20, had a cup of hot coffee, worked a crossword puzzle and a jigsaw puzzle, then at about 9:30, I went out to mow the lawn. The front slopes were ok, but there were lots of insects in the back plains. When I got done, I showered, then put the towels in the laundry to wash. Having already washed the whites yesterday, I only had two loads of laundry to do today, so I had plenty of time to watch the movie, Big, starring Tom Hanks. All the while, I was thinking about a second movie named Big that I had seen one time, years ago. I wonder why it was pulled off the market. As I recall, it was about a boy in elementary school who was adult-sized.

This morning, I drove Yoda to the auto body shop for repairs to his left rear quarterpanel and bumper cover. They did a complete inspection of the car to assess the existing damage, that which they were to repair and those that had been pre-existing. We were told that they could not say how long it would take to repair and repaint the newly damaged area of the car, but that they would contact me with that information, as well as progress reports every other day until it was completed. Later in the day, I got a call from the body shop to tell me that the car was in the shop and the expected day of completion would be next Monday or Tuesday. Naturally, after delivering the car to the shop, I took Becky to her shots appointment, then we had lunch at TGI Fridays, since I received a gift card from our bank, a reward for having used their credit card. I have also received a reward card for Lowes from the same bank, so as soon as I can find anything there that I need for less than or equal to the maximum value of the card, I'll get it.

During our Monday Morning Bible Study on Zoom, Becky's head started hurting badly, so she left the room, leaving me to fend for myself with the class. I have difficulty making myself heard, mostly because I think and speak slowly enough that I am certain what I want to say, how I want to say it and then I try to speak. Last week, Rev. Milly had asked if everyone had received her email. Four of us had not. Three of them were heard and acknowledged. Then immediately, someone started speaking about something else and would not stop, and I was not heard. This morning, one of the other members said he was still not receiving her emails, and again I tried to say that I was not receiving them, either, and once again I was not heard. I may just stop attending, for even if I sent an email to the Rector and thus got put on the email list, the fact remains that my attempts at contributing to the discussion are seldom heard, and therefore I am listening only, with no chance to check my own understanding or knowledge, and I feel left out and, if it were to continue, what little I might have to contribute to the study will also go unheard, and therefore I would contribute nothing and gain little. Then at the end of the day, Becky's head had stopped hurting, and we both presented our final Monday Evening Compline of the season.

We noticed two things about our Church service this morning. One was that the video was not even listed as existent until 10 minutes before the start of the service, and the other was that there are now more people in the Nave than in previous services. Bishop José is, indeed, opening up the churches to more and more people. I'm happy about that. In mid-afternoon, I dared to visit Sams Club for some needed items. I noticed that Sunday afternoon seems to be the slow-poke hours. I was standing behind three people who seemed to be intent on standing outside the entrance doors and blocking my entry rather than actually entering the store. Once inside the store, it took several more minutes to get around the children and senior citizens who seemed incapable of walking faster than one mile per hour. I finally broke free of the slow mob and started moving through the store at my usual 4 MPH, finding everything on the list for the second time this week. The next slow down occurred at the cash register. As I usually do, I checked myself out, being paid by getting through the process much faster than the people on either side of me. However, once I had paid for everything, the two people from the register to my right were blocking my exit from my aisle, involved in some kind of argument as to who was to carry the woman's purse which somehow ended up in the man's cart! Again breaking free, I raced to the exit, passed the surveillance on my purchases, and sped out the door and to my car in record time.

Today, one week into the pipeline shutdown and two weeks since my last fill-up, I decided it was time to buy some gas for Yoda. I got onto GasBuddy and found a station that was indicated in blue to say, "New Fuel This Morning," posted eight minutes before. So I drove to the station, was able to get into position at a pump pretty early, bought twenty dollars worth of gasoline (a little over 7 gallons) which took me over the 3/4 tank mark. Then I was confident enough to drive out to Kohl's Department Store and pick up my order of undies (special order - they don't normally carry them in the store because few people like this style), and then back home. The rest of the day was, well, restful.

Today things went a little better. Becky had her home healthcare visit from a PA and received some fine guidance to check with our PCP about a few of the symptoms she has been having. After the PA left, FedEx arrived with the sphygmomanometer I had ordered. I unboxed it, put batteries in it and strapped it to my wrist and read that my blood pressure is now a sedate 113/60 just three days after resuming the formerly missing BP medication. After lunch, I drove to the store to get some needed groceries, and when I got there, I was amazed. Ingles Supermarkets sell gasoline, which wasn't the amazing part. Well, yes, it was amazing they actually HAD gasoline to sell, but there was a line of cars waiting to buy it. The line stretched from the street, all the way across the lane nearest the store, then down the short side to the lane farthest from the store. What was amazing was that the cars, for the most part, had left a gap where motorists could drive into one of the parking lanes and park to buy groceries. Another amazement was that I was able to find everything on our shopping list. Then, when I got home, I actually received the email I was expecting from Kohl's saying that my order was ready for me to pick up at the store. That's on my to-do list, now.

Friday the 13th came on Thursday this month! I was expecting two things today. First I was expecting the second item I had ordered from United Healthcare's Health & Wellness Products Catalog, a sphygmomanometer. The second item I expected was an email from Kohl's to tell me that the clothing I had ordered, which was to have been delivered to the store, was ready for me to pick up. Neither of them was in evidence by 11:42 PM, so I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow. What I wasn't expecting was a series of four phone calls from India claiming to be from Apple saying that our iCloud account had been hacked and compromised. We don't have an iCloud account, so I hung up on the first call. 15 minutes later a second call came with the same dire warning. I listened to the end hoping to hear "press 2 to decline further calls," or some such thing. No, they gave me the option to press 1 to speak with their special agent or press to if I wished to have them call later. A third option was to call the number they gave me to speak with their agent. I hung up, then, not even noting the number down. The third call came in, and I almost immediately pressed 1. The "agent" answered and asked how he could help me, and I told him that I knew it was a scam and told him to STOP CALLING MY HOME! I looked up iCloud compromise on my search engine and found that it is, as I thought, a scam. It had a link to report the calls, which I did. Ten minutes after I filed the complaint, the fourth call came in, so I pressed 1 again and told the agent, "Your scamming calls have been reported to an agency of the United States Government. CEASE and DESIST! There were no further calls.

Becky wasn't feeling well, this morning, so I drove to Fairview for my chiropractic appointment alone. Naturally, everyone in the office expressed concern for Becky and wished her well. Dr. Reilly treated my hips to ease the sciatica, then paid close attention to my spine, finding some very deep corrections and corrected them. Then he showed me some exercise that I can do to ease sciatica, which I should do ten times a day. As with all the exercises he recommends, it isn't difficult or painful. Unlike the others he has recommended for me, I can do this one sitting down whenever I feel the need - except when I'm driving, of course.

After taking Becky to get her bi-weekly allergy shots, we were heading to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. As we approached the west side of the French Broad River, though, we saw a line of cars, eastbound, and realized they were lining up at the gas station. In doing so, they were cutting off access to two businesses. I wonder how those business owners felt about that, but I think I know. We got to Starbucks and learned that they were out of our new favorite, Oat Milk, so we had to make do with Coconut Milk. No matter. We were treated to a free joke, as advertised on their sign just before the drive-up ordering kiosk. "Pick a number from one to 15," she said, so I selected seven. I didn't tell her what the number was initially, so I asked her what I was supposed to do with the number. "Tell me what it is, and I'll read that joke to you," she instructed. When I told her, she read, "What word starts with E, ends with E, and has one letter in it?" I didn't get it right away, so she told me, "Envelope." That was, unfortunately, the highlight of our day until shortly before Compline started at eight. The six of us Lay, Leaders of Compline (L.L.of C., that is), have decided that we'd like to take the Summer off from reading Compline, with the stipulation that a resumption is contemplated in the Fall. Our Rector, Milly, has agreed, so the week before Pentecost Sunday, we will read our last Compline for the season, say our thanks and farewells to our faithful online congregations, and take a break for a time.

The first thing I did was to write an email to Rev. Milly to offer apologies for missing Bible Study this morning so I could take Suzanne to her medical appointment. The next thing I did was to answer a phone call from Suzanne explaining that she had to cancel her appointment this morning. The last thing I did this morning was to attend Bible Study and explain to Rev. Milly there was a change of plans. That was all within about 15 minutes. After Bible Study, Becky and I drove down to the Biltmore Estate for lunch at Cedric's pub. The next thing we did was walk to the Antler Village Hotel and eat lunch at their restaurant because Cedric's was closed today. "Momma said there'd be days like this!"

At the opening of our church service this morning, Rev. Milly commented that we are now permitted to be up to 50% capacity with the Bishop's blessing. Then she punctuated the announcement with a "WooHoo!" Naturally, since Melinda has been teasing me about the one time I had responded in that way to something she said, claiming that she never heard anyone else say that after the service was over, I found that clip and recorded it, sent it to my computer, copied and pasted it four times in the timeline, and sent it to Melinda and posted it on Facebook. Wouldn't you know it, at the end of the day she had neither checked her email nor visited Facebook.

We awoke to a temperature of 43 degrees this morning, so I enjoyed a morning cup of hot coffee and listened to the news on television as I read through my morning emails. I waited for 90 minutes until nine o'clock, then got into my yard-work attire, backed the cars down the drive, and fueled up the lawnmower to give the grass and bugles a decent trim. Normally I would have let the Common Bugles continue to blossom to feed the bees, but there had not been many bees visiting the purple flowers this Spring, so I mowed them. I suppose the lack of bees was due to the unusually cool spring weather we've been having. Unlike the last mowing, just 10 days ago, I was not nearly as tired and sweaty when I finished. The temperature was up to 56 when I started mowing, and likely in the 60s before I finished, and having mown in such temperatures before, I was amazed that I was not exhausted. I did experience some rather severe foot cramps while I was relaxing on the bad after my shower, though, so I got up just in time for lunch

Since I was busy much of the day on Wednesday, I did not do laundry. Since I'm very forgetful, I didn't do it on Thursday either. This morning, then, I started the day by laundering a very large load of clothes. Once they were finished, I went shopping. I drove to Arden to visit the World Market to get some sugar-free Torani syrup for Becky's coffee, then I drove to Sams Club to stock up on potato chips, nuts, toothbrush heads, CoQ10, cough drops, and a few other things. it took a while to get out of the store because I made an error at the self-check register and had to correct it at the customer service desk. When that was done, though, I drove to Publix in Weaverville to load up on groceries. The remainder of the day was restful.

After driving Becky to her allergy shot appointment, we stopped by Starbucks for our celebratory cuppa, then came back home and rested for the remainder of the day. (Excitement - not).

This seemed, at first, like it would be a day of appointments, even though there were just two of them. At 8:30, I had a physical scheduled with our Primary Care Physician. Historically, his physicals lasted for four hours, but it took only one hour and amounted to little more than an interview since we are still in a pandemic. My second appointment was scheduled at 1:45, so I drove home for lunch when I left the PCP's office. Then I went to see the urologist. I made sure to drink enough water at lunch so that I would be able to leave a full sample for him. We discussed the results of the prostate procedure he did for me in February, and I gave it an A-plus! All done for the appointments, then, and it wasn't as much as I thought it might be.

Back when Charlie's Angels was on TV, I had a huge crush on Kate Jackson, one of the three Angels. Well guess who came to our house today? That's right, Kate Jackson! Ok, she was the OTHER Kate Jackson, but still. She is a plummer who came to do an inspection of all the pipes and connections in the house. She had to replace one small section of pipe that had a pin-hole leak which apparently started after the furnace inspectors left yesterday, or they would have (or should have) told me about it. Other than that, she flushed the water heater, and pronounced the house in good condition.

Bible Study was a little different, today. Rev. Milly was not there, but she had designated a substitute leader for the study who, with the able assistance from our Verger, Lorie, conducted the study with ease and effective facilitation. When that was finished, we had a visit from our HVAC maintenance person who checked everything over and pronounced it sound. I had to make another run to the grocery store to replenish our supply of gluten-free meals, tissues, and ice cream.

After church this morning, I took a nap, then awoke for a while until Becky put on a recorded episode of Home Town Rescue, during which I resumed napping. When supper was served, I had so much discomfort in my belly that I could not eat. I opted to go to bed, but before I could lie down I had a massive bowel movement. Then when I did lie down, I was back up in a flash with the knowledge that I would vomit. I had dry heaves for a while, and when they stopped, I returned to the bed, staying there for three hours. I have no idea what could have caused my afternoon's malaise, but I'm glad it's over.

May Day! May Day! May Day! Happy May Fools Day! It has been a restful day, for the most part. We have had nothing to do and did it quite well for the first half of the day, but then I had to spoil it by going to the grocery store. I needed to replenish my laundry supplies and our pickle and olive supplies, among other things. It was one of my more expensive shopping trips, but since I still haven't exhausted our Stimulus money, it doesn't really matter. I spent nothing from our bank account.